By Richard Clarke
"We have some bad news,” replied Arsène Wenger when asked for an injury update ahead of the game with AZ Alkmaar.
The Arsenal manager was not wrong.
He revealed that Gael Clichy would be sidelined for “a few weeks” with a stress fracture in his back. Meanwhile Wenger added that he still was not sure about the severity of Nicklas Bendtner’s groin problem but he described it as “serious” and re-iterated that the Danish striker would be out for around a month.
On the upside, Tomas Rosicky is back in the squad after knee trouble but he will not start the Champions League tie with the Dutch champions.
“Bendtner is quite seriously injured,” said Wenger at Tuesday’s press conference. “And on top of that, we have lost Gael Clichy with a back injury which was not expected.
“It looks like he could be out for a while. We fear a stress fracture but we will know more of that tonight. But if that is the case, he will be out for a few weeks.
“Nicklas we still do not know yet but we suspect four weeks. Rosicky will be in the squad tomorrow. He will still be short to start but he will be involved. The two goalkeepers will be Almunia, who will play, and Mannone.”
Kieran Gibbs will cover the loss of Clichy. With games coming thick and fast, the Englishman was likely to be involved during November anyway. Thankfully, Wenger’s other left back option is close to a return.
“Armand Traore has been injured but he is back in normal training on Thursday so he will be the solution as left back cover,” said Wenger. “Fortunately at this Club, we are gifted always with very good left backs.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 3 Nov 2009